Saturday 5 April 2014

Gove and Wilshaw discuss the failed headteacher in Ofsted

Wilshaw's office.

Gove walks in.

Wilshaw: You could have knocked.

Gove: Could have, but didn't.

Wilshaw: Yes, yes.

Gove: We've got a problem.

Wilshaw: You've got a problem. I don't have problems.

Gove: The enemy is picking up on stuff to do with your inspectors.

Wilshaw: My inspectors, your system.

Gove: For christ's sake, we're on the same side here, aren't we?

Wilshaw: Sometimes.

Gove: My concern here is that you've got inspectors who are failed school leaders.

Wilshaw: Why's that a problem?

Gove: It's not a problem in itself, but it's what it bloody looks like.

Wilshaw: Neither of us are paintings but it hasn't done us any harm.

Gove: That's good. I might use that one.

Wilshaw: Don't. It's one of mine.

Gove: Look, we've got a message management moment here. The bloody papers, even the Telegraph, for christ's sake, are hooking on to stuff like this.

Wilshaw: Like what?

Gove: Do you listen? I'm telling you there's some federation headteacher in the north somewhere, Northumberland or Cumberland or somewhere, and his school or schools - oh hell - I don't remember - are under special measures and he's one of your bloody inspectors. Where's my map...?

Wilshaw: Who leaked this?

Gove: Keep your voice down. Probably someone here.

Wilshaw: My lot are loyal.

Gove: So are mine.

Wilshaw: Nope. Your lot hate you.

Gove: Ditto. Ner ner.

Wilshaw: Hrrmmph.

Gove: I'm going to put out a statement about how much I lament this state of affairs...

Wilshaw: ....and how much you respect and admire the fantastic work that Ofsted is doing...

Gove:...perhaps, and how my Academy programme is levering up standards and...

Wilshaw: Thanks to the great example set by Mossbourne, where I was the head...

Gove: O shit, Michael, you know very well what you did there...come on:  you had a changing demography and the school just rode the crest of the wave of middle class moving into the area; then you ran a system of exclusions that no one could ever get to the bottom of and...yes... the government pumped bloody millions more into that place than any other school, on top of ran what was in effect a selection process to get the kids by taking the top slice off each of the three 'ability bands' that were admitted.

Wilshaw: So bloody what! I got the headlines. I still get the headlines. Only the other day, that woman on Question Time said how bloody good I was at 'turning round a failing school'. And in the end that looks good for you too.

Gove: Sort out these crap ex-heads in your Ofsted team or I'm in the shits.

Wilshaw: 'Bad apples'. 'Teething problems'. Those are the words. You can go now.

Gove: I'll go when I want.

Wilshaw: ...which is now.

Gove exits.